Shin­ing at SMAC

County ath­letes win at SMAC track and field cham­pi­onships

The Enterprise - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Per­haps it seemed fit­ting that to­ward the lat­ter por­tion of the sec­ond day of the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence out­door track and field cham­pi­onships at Lackey High School last Thurs­day evening, a pair of rain­bows graced the north­east­ern sky­line in In­dian Head.

With a brief, pass­ing shower mak­ing its pres­ence known on the track while the set­ting sun­light graced the build­ing at Lackey, one bright rain­bow and one dim one ap­peared above the cam­pus. Per­haps it sym­bol­ized that the host Charg­ers had found their pot of gold at one end be­cause both the Lackey boys and girls teams cap­tured the SMAC ti­tles that day, with North­ern fin­ish­ing sec­ond in both boys and girls.

Lackey’s girls ac­cu­mu­lated 159 points over the two-day event that be­gan on May 8, fin­ish­ing well clear of North­ern (120), Leonard­town (83), Hunt­ing­town (78), North Point (61), St. Charles (50), West­lake (41), Calvert (30), McDonough (13) and Great Mills (12) which rounded out the top 10.

In their fi­nal SMAC cham­pi­onships to­gether, Lackey se­niors Do­minique Jef­fery and Destiny Thomp­son each cap­tured a pair of in­di­vid­ual ti­tles and with the meet ti­tle well in hand Jef­fery an­chored the Charg­ers’ 1,600-me­ter re­lay that pulled away from St. Charles and Leonard­town to fin­ish in 4 min­utes 2.72 sec­onds. Jef­fery was joined by Tay­lor Wil­liams, Erin Pear­son, Arielle Gar­ri­son in cap­tur­ing the ti­tle.

“When Arielle handed me the ba­ton for the last lap, I just knew that I had to fin­ish it,” said Jef­fery, who had ear­lier cap­tured both the 200 (24.95 sec­onds) and the 400 (57.22) and fin­ished third be­hind Thomp­son and sopho­more team­mate Day­nah De­sir in the 100. “We knew North­ern was go­ing to be re­ally tough to beat, but we all worked so

hard for this. Win­ning the SMAC ti­tle at home is re­ally spe­cial.”

Thomp­son had won the 100 (12.23) and the 300 hur­dles (45.34), took sec­ond be­hind team­mate Tay­lor Wil­liams in the 100 hur­dles and set­tled for fourth in the 200 that Jef­fery cap­tured.

“In the 100, I felt re­ally good right from the start,” Thomp­son said. “I had a re­ally good start. Af­ter that, I just fo­cused on what was in front of me. I never looked over [my shoul­der]. I didn’t even lis­ten for any­one. I just felt good the whole way and fin­ished strong. In the hur­dles, I just wanted to get away fast and stay fo­cused on each jump and I did OK.”

Lackey se­nior Court­ney Hawkins con­tin­ued her dom­i­nance in the field events for the Charg­ers,

cap­tur­ing the shot put (41 feet 6 inches) and the dis­cus (120-2).

Lackey’s boys also took home the SMAC ti­tle on Thurs­day, but with lit­tle room for er­ror. The Charg­ers boys picked up 88 points, edg­ing North­ern (82), La Plata (80), Calvert (71), North Point (65), Hunt­ing­town (61), Chop­ti­con (53), West­lake (44), St. Charles (40) and Great Mills (36) which com­pleted a compact top 10.

“We knew the boys were go­ing to be re­ally close,” Lackey head coach Ji­mari Jones. “In fact, [North­ern head coach Josh] Daw­son told me that we were tied go­ing into the last event. I had no idea it was that close. I knew our girls were re­ally com­ing into this meet peak­ing at the right time. I didn’t know if our boys would be able to get it done, but they did.”

While the Lackey girls at­tained nu­mer­ous in­di­vid­ual vic­to­ries and also pre­vailed in one re­lay, the Charg­ers boys ac­tu­ally won the over­all team ti­tle with­out win­ning a sin­gle in­di­vid­ual event or re­lay.

Ju­nior Linn Jor­dan took sec­ond in the 200, Shamod Hat­ten was sec­ond in the 110 hur­dles, Do­minic Hawkins was sec­ond in the

shot put and fourth in the dis­cus, Chris Thomp­son took third in the shot put and Demetrius Sims was third in the 300 hur­dles.

Plenty of win­ners

While the Lackey girls dom­i­nated the sprints on their home course, the North­ern girls once again proved vir­tu­ally un­beat­able in the dis­tance events.

Pa­tri­ots se­nior Alyssa Ta­tum cap­tured the 1,600 (5:15.61) to lead a North­ern sweep of the top three spots as ju­nior Clau­dia Dolan was sec­ond and se­nior Abby Sweeney was third. Sweeney lived up to her role as the top dis­tance run­ner in the con­fer­ence by tak­ing the 3,200 (11:15.52), a race in which Leonard­town fresh­man Nelle Ray dic­tated much of the early tempo.

De­spite be­ing one of the North­ern se­niors, Ta­tum is one of the gen­uine new­com­ers in SMAC. Hav­ing spent the pre­vi­ous two school years in Guam, Ta­tum has been a wel­comed ad­di­tion to the Pa­tri­ots and added depth to an al­ready deep girls group of dis­tance run­ners. Last Thurs­day she emerged from the shad­ows to gar­ner the SMAC ti­tle in the mile.

La Plata’s boys were in the ti­tle chase thanks largely to the ef­forts of se­nior Alex Strong, who

re­cently signed his na­tional let­ter of in­tent to at­tend Ar­kan­sas State Univer­sity. Strong recorded a hat trick of his own over the two days, win­ning the high jump (6-4) on May 8 then re­turn­ing two days later to take the triple jump (43-4 1/2) and 110 hur­dles (15.11) and place third in the long jump.

Leonard­town sopho­more Emily Sny­der and Raiders ju­nior team­mate Re­nee Nosko fin­ished one-two in the 800, fol­lowed in suc­ces­sion by the North­ern se­nior trio of Sarah Deresky, Ta­tum and Mary Twet­ten. Sny­der’s tri­umph came as a re­sult of brush­ing past the Pa­tri­ots three­some to take com­mand en­ter­ing the fi­nal turn.

“That re­ally wasn’t the plan,” Sny­der said of her bold back­side move. “I just was feel­ing re­ally good at that point and de­cided to go for it. Those North­ern girls are so fast. When I made the lead I felt real- ly strong and I just kept reach­ing for the fin­ish.”

North Point’s quar­tet of Jas­mine Forbes, Jada John­son, Caila Coates and Car­men Hen­der­son cap­tured the 400 re­lay (49.35), while Leonard­town’s Emma Vez­zosi, Nosko, Ella Muja and Leya Es­sex pre­vailed in the 800 re­lay (1:44.36). Es­sex was also sec­ond to Jef­fery in the 400 and the Raiders se­nior will be join­ing Sweeney at East Carolina Univer­sity this fall.

West­lake se­nior Ka­mari Walker won the 200 (22.50), while Chop­ti­con se­nior Tyler Mo­drze­jew­ski cap­tured the 800 (1:57.59). Calvert ju­nior Justin Diehl won the 3,200 on May 8 (9:32.35) then came back to take the 1,600 (4:23.92) on Thurs­day by roughly two sec­onds over Mo­drze­jew­ski. La Plata sopho­more Nico Stout won the 100 (11.20) very nar­rowly over Great Mills’ Mar­cus Smith.

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

Calvert’s John Dodsworth, left, and Chop­ti­con’s Tyler Mo­drze­jew­ski bat­tle for sec­ond at the end of the boys 1,600-me­ter run dur­ing the SMAC track and field cham­pi­onships on Thurs­day at Lackey High School. Mo­drze­jew­ski got run­ner-up and Dodsworth...

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